Somali Muslim workers at a JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Grand Island, Neb., were allegedly denied prayer time and faced harrassment and termination for asking for prayer time, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday by the Equal opportunity Employment Commisison.

The lawsuit states that the company failed to make reasonable religious accommodations for more than 80 employees, dating back to December, 2007. It adds that plant supervisors “interrupted their prayers, refused to let them pray, threw meat at them, called them names,” reports the Associated Press.

During Ramadan in September 2008, hundreds of Muslin workers walked off the job and picketed in protest, asking for the right to pray at sunset and break a daylong fast. The plant adjusted the work schedule to accommodate the workers, but non-Muslins in the plant protested the “special treatment,” so the accommodations were ended, AP reports. Eighty-six Muslin workers protested again and were fired for walking off the job.

JBS Swift did not issue a comment over the lawsuit but has previously denied that the firings were over religion.

Source: Associated Press,

Kronos giving away gyros in Chicago today

Kronos Foods, Inc., a leading manufacturer of premium gyros and other Mediterranean specialty food items, will give Chicagoans a sandwich with its 2nd Annual "Free Kronos Gyros Sandwich" Day, set for Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, while helping military families via the Fisher House Foundation.

Kronos Gyros will be free at 54 participating Chicagoland area locations. At the same time, Kronos is encouraging Chicagoans to help military families with a donation to the Fisher House Foundation, which enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times -- during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. Donation boxes will be provided at each location so customers can give back to military members and their families, while at the same time enjoying an appetizing sandwich. Donations will be used to assist in the operations of the recently opened Fisher House at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Ill.

"As the birthplace of Kronos Gyros, the Windy City is the perfect place to host the 'Free Kronos Gyros Day' promotion," said Valerie Lester, vice president of marketing for Kronos Foods, Inc. "After the success of last years' event, this year, we are thrilled to be working with Fisher House Foundation supporting military families. We hope customers will take this opportunity to visit one of the approximately 55 participating locations across Chicago and its suburbs to satisfy their cravings for a delicious Gyros and to help out this great organization."

Visit for more information, to find a participating restaurant and print out a coupon for a free gyro.

Source: Kronos Foods Inc.

USDA hosting mobile slaughter information session in Nevada

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced it is hosting a red meat mobile slaughter unit information session on September 9. The goals of this information session are to educate farmers, ranchers and processors on how to operate mobile slaughter units and meet USDA food safety requirements. The session is being held as part of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative.

"This information session will educate small producers and processors on establishing mobile slaughter units and how to ensure the safety of the products so that they can receive the USDA federal mark of inspection," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza.

The information session will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices located at 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, in Carson City, Nev.

FSIS officials will highlight how to apply for the federal grant of inspection and discuss inspection issues unique to mobile slaughter units. The information session will also include presentations by other USDA agencies, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute, and the Producer to Chef Program, as well as a review of federal grant and loan options. To view the meeting agenda, go to:

Source: USDA

Jimmy D's marketing push to feature “morning villains”

Jimmy Dean has launched a new, full-scale advertising and marketing campaign, “Morning Villains,” designed specifically to resonate with moms. The marketing is supporting the new Jimmy D’s line from Jimmy Dean, a new offering of breakfast products that combine turkey sausage with the taste kids love – available in three varieties and all with 210 calories or less and seven or more grams of protein. The program is driven by a multi-layered marketing launch that includes TV, print, radio, online advertising, cinema, social media, event marketing, in-store activation, public relations, and the launch of a new micro-site,

With its first television spot having aired during the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards, the creative is positioned to be entertaining and light-hearted in nature while addressing the importance of starting the day with breakfast. The creative features “comic-inspired” images of the Jimmy Dean iconic character, The Sun, in retro-superhero garb as “Super Shining Sun” battling costumed morning villains who represent the challenges moms’ kids face if they skip breakfast. The underlying message is that a good breakfast is the foundation for a great day.

“The ‘Morning Villains’ campaign takes a humorous approach on what can happen if you don’t start the day with breakfast – and how moms can help save the day with Jimmy D’s products. Showing our classic Sun character in superhero garb, these ads were designed specifically to resonate with moms while delivering our message in a fun and creative way,” said Daryl Gormley, vice president breakfast and snacking, Sara Lee North American Retail. “This marketing campaign to launch the Jimmy D’s line is one of the largest for the brand as Sara Lee Corporation further invests in the growth of priority brands.”

Source: Sara Lee Corp.

Ruiz Foods introduces recloseable packaging to El Monterey line

El Monterey reintroduces its snack line of 12 Mexican food favorites in new recloseable bags that are freezer friendly and convenient.

“We have transitioned our classic Mexican food favorites from a traditional box to a recloseable bag due to our consumer’s direct input,” explains Bryce Ruiz, president & CEO, Ruiz Foods. “It began nearly one year ago when we reintroduced our El Monterey Flour and Corn Taquitos in a recloseable bag and found the consumer’s response to be overwhelmingly positive. ‘Convenience IS important’ they were telling us and now our consumer can find all of their Mexican favorites in convenient recloseable bags. We’ve even taken this opportunity to introduce a new item – in two flavors – Mini Chimis.”

The packaging transition includes El Monterey Taquitos, Quesadillas, Mini Chimis and Tamales offering consumers a colorful design and a wide variety of favorites.

Source: Ruiz Foods

Hardee's introduces country fried steak & gravy biscuit

Hardee’s has made the traditional breakfast chicken- or country-fried steak and gravy portable by introducing the Country Fried Steak ‘N’ Gravy Biscuit. The new item features a seasoned, breaded steak covered with a generous ladle of sausage gravy and served between a buttery Made from Scratch buttermilk biscuit.

“Many people love to eat country-fried steak and gravy for breakfast but it’s always been a sit-down affair requiring a knife and fork,” said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing at CKE Restaurants. ”Hardee’s new Country Fried Steak ‘N’ Gravy Biscuit makes the whole thing portable by putting a great-tasting, crispy steak, covered with our famous sausage gravy, inside one of our Made From Scratch Biscuits. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Source: CKE Restaurants